Whitney Giamo – http://www.linkedin.com/in/wgiaimo
This weekend, students from across the world—including myself— met at SPU to begin the MA-SSM program. The orientation weekend was a way for us to get to know each other and our professors for the next eleven months. This year’s cohort (the second cohort for this program) comes from Washington, Oregon, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Japan and China – a wealth of degrees and backgrounds, which will hopefully translate into a wealth of ideas.
Day one was a blur. We were all sort of sleepy when we met for the first time at the MA-SSM office. Although I graduated from SPU (only a week before this meeting, might I add), I had no idea that this office existed. It’s comprised of a classroom, a kitchenette, an office and a series of meeting rooms with a view of the other side of Nickerson (home of Thai Fusion and Tully’s, the perfect fuel for hungry graduate students). After a quick breakfast, we introduced ourselves. Although not all the students were there, we recorded the session in order to include the students who couldn’t attend – one student from China, and another from Pennsylvania.
It was a long morning full of introductions to SPU, the program, business in general, and time management. From day one, it was obvious that this program would take up the majority of our time during the next eleven-months… Though, we would learn invaluable skills that would help us to succeed in the future.
The afternoon was a welcomed break as we took a walk around the SPU campus. The MA-SSM office is a little ways from the heart of campus, though only about a ten-minute walk to Martin’s Square. It was an uncharacteristically sunny and warm day in early June. We saw the business building, McKenna, where many of the MA-SSM faculty offices are located, before trekking to the library.
For those of you who have never been, the library is a beautiful three-story brick building that is strategically located in close proximity to Gwinn Commons (our cafeteria) and Weter Hall (home to a coffee stand and optimal study seating). The library is where we met Cindy Strong, our librarian extraordinaire. I got the impression that we would be spending quite a bit of time doing research in there, mostly using the business databases that are available to SPU students.
After a very long day of learning about MA-SSM, what we will be capable of after the program and a few quick networking tips (don’t stand near the wall, don’t use your cell phone, etc.), we dressed up and drove over to a networking event at the Blueacre Restaurant (owned by an SPU alumnus) with the 2012 MASSM charter cohort and former coaches and business people associated with the program, as well as our faculty that we had met earlier in the day.
Day one and our schedule was already packed, I can only imagine how exciting Fall, Winter and Spring quarters will be (especially with our upcoming trip to China and India!). Stay tuned for more adventures from the class of 2013.